Digital Tradition Mirror

Hoo Mony Miles is It tae Glesca-Lea?

Hoo Mony Miles is It tae Glesca-Lea?

     Hoo mony miles is it tae Glesca-Lea?
     Sixty, seventy, echty-three.

     Will I be there gin canle licht?
     Juist if yer legs be lang and ticht.

     Open yer gates and let me through!
     No withoot a beck and a boo.

     There's yer beck and there's yer boo,
     Open yer gates and let me through!

     "Hoo mony miles tae Babylon?
     "Six, or seven, or aucht, or ten."
     "Will I get there by caun'le licht?"
     "Just if your legs are lang an' ticht."


     (1) J.M. McBain, Arbroath: Past and Present (1887),
     whence SC (1948) 73 (no. 96).
     (2) MacLennan SNR (1909), 11.
Moffat 50 TSNR (1933), 29 (with music), = no. 1 above, with
var.: How many miles to Babylon?/ ten, Sir// Yes, and back
again, Sir! -- more resembling the English versions, as also
in Ritchie Golden City (1965), 150 (and 151, variant).  There
are two rows facing each other, each singing their own line,
becking (bending backward) and bowing at the appropriate
points.  At line 8 Row 2 forms itself into arches, and Row 1
rush through, forming the next Row 2; and so on.
Cf.  "Chick my naigie", "King and Queen of Cantelon"; also
"My theerie and my thorie", no. 6.  [ODNR ("Babylon"), 63 (no. 26),
with refs.]


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